Friday, October 3, 2008

ACORN and its alleged voter registration fraud

Marc Ambinder at the Atlantic writes an excellently fair-minded post about GOP complaints about the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN):
ACORN works in urban areas and among the poor, so their advocacy benefits the Democratic Party.

And most acutely, Republicans point to charges, many validated, of ACORN's turning in hundreds, if not thousands, of fraudulent registrations in at least a dozen states and employing felons in states where it's illegal to do so for voter registration purposes.

Defenders of ACORN insist they're non-partisan, say that the group simply wants to make sure that as many eligible voters as possible vote and contend that critics are motivated by their partisanship, and possibly by their antipathy toward poor people and black people. Note: ACORN has liberal critics too, including some who think the group's aggressive tactics and history of quasi-socialism make other community organizers look bad.
I've been having growing concerns about this myself, since there have been all too many convictions of various ACORN canvassers for allegedly making fraudulent voter registrations by the thousands. The fact that there has been more than one such episode is troubling.

I'm all for maximum registration and participation of every American voter, especially the poor who are the most vulnerable and too often disenfranchised. It does no one any good, especially the Democratic party, when that noble goal becomes tainted by voter fraud.

I would love to see this cease being a political football between the two parties, and become something both parties devote time to fixing in a clean, verifiable way. But alas I am probably dreaming.

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